NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A fatal officer-involved shooting began with a covert operation by the NOPD's TIGER team, whose members were tailing armed robbery suspects Tuesday at a New Orleans East apartment complex.
Police Chief Michael Harrison said officers were watching an apartment in the 10000 block of Curran Boulevard at about 5:20 p.m., when for unknown reasons, two men inside the unit opened the front door and took off running.
A witness at the scene said one of the suspects pointed a gun at officers, and they fired at him, killing him.
"We were focused on apartment 64. The information supported our suspects that we believe were responsible for multiple armed robberies were inside of that apartment. When they exited, they were confronted, they fled, there was another confrontation and now we're involved in a police-involved shooting," Chief Harrison said.
Harrison would not confirm whether the gun was pointed at his officer, but he did say the deceased suspect was found with a gun beside him. The other suspect was taken into custody.
Chief Harrison said his officers surveilling the apartment complex were not wearing body cameras because they were undercover.
"The officers were in plainclothes. They did not have on a body worn camera. It would not have been practical for the officer to be in plainclothes and a dark courtyard of the apartment complex with a body worn camera and the red light flashing and beeping the entire time as they try to infiltrate and mingle among other residents who live there," Chief Harrison said.
Chief Harrison said officers in full police gear were nearby in hopes of detaining the suspects at some point, but the pair of armed robbery suspects took off before that team could get on scene.
No officers were injured.
"Right now it's about being thorough, it's about being transparent, this is no different than any of the other police involved shootings we've been in where we've been totally 100-percent transparent," Chief Harrison said.
As is standard procedure, the shooting is under investigation by the Public Integrity Bureau and the consent decree monitors.